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Nexstar Argues Disney-Charter Deal Is Good For Broadcast TV


Spectrum and Disney logos

Nexstar, the owner and operator of many networks and channels, has commented on the recent Disney-Charter deal, arguing that it is a good thing in general for the broadcast television industry.

While there are many disputes each year, the Disney-Charter dispute was a significant one for many reasons. Most notably, the deal that ended the dispute saw the two companies agree on a strategy that bundles popular cable channels with direct-to-consumer solutions.

This bundling is something which Nexstar seems to approve of in principle. In its latest new investor presentation, the company highlighted its perspectives on recent events and their positive impact on the broadcast television industry. One of those recent events was the dispute between Disney and Charter.

According to Nexstar, the agreement is positive for a number of reasons. Firstly, as Spectrum TV will continue to carry ABC stations, ESPN channels, Disney Channel, FX, and Nat Geo, it will continue to carry the most-watched content, which is good for the industry.

As noted at the time, this agreement didn’t result in all of the disputed channels returning to Spectrum TV. While arguably bad for consumers, Nexstar also argues this is a good thing overall. Specifically, removing underperforming cable networks and reallocating that cost towards premium content is good for broadcast TV.

Nexstar also sees the bundling of services like Disney+ and ESPN+ as good for the industry too, as the move provides “more content that viewers want at a competitive/better price than the DTC bundle.” As a result of this type of bundling, Nexstar suggests that there will be a stabilizing effect on subscriber trends. In other words, a decrease in subscriber churn.

Other takeaways from Nexstar’s new investor presentation included:

  • Broadcast Stations have the Most Watched Television Content
  • Broadcast Television is the Most Important Medium for Engaging Live Sports Audiences
  • Local Television News Content Drives Viewer Engagement and Value
  • The Television Ecosystem Supports the Broadcast Business Model

While the Disney-charter points raised by Nexstar are valid, and likely to be correct in the sense that the deal is good for broadcast TV, that’s not necessarily the same as saying it is good for consumers.

After all, broadcast TV loves bundles and it remains to be seen if consumers like bundles to the same degree. The short history of streaming might suggest bundles are not all that popular.

John Finn


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